Let’s Talk About — Mental Health Equality

Social Justice

In our present day society there are many who refuse to people that mental illness exists and that it is something that warrants much attention. When something is not acknowledged or physically seen  it is easy to pretend that these issues are imaginary, but the truth of the matter is that mental illness effects those all around us in very real ways.

Because a vast majority of mental illnesses do not present themselves in physical ways it is easy for them to be swept under the rug. Those who do speak out about their problems are highly stigmatized and experience backlash instead of receiving the care that they need.

Mental health and issues relating to it are not frequently discussed, but if there is one thing that is discussed even less than that, it is minority struggles with mental health illnesses. It was not until writing this post that I discovered that there was a National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM) every July, and I believe that a significant number of people are not aware of this too.

It is important to note that mental illness does not discriminate. It can affect anyone at any time regardless of age, gender, or race.  In addition to the everyday discrimination that minorities face, minorities with mental illness experience higher levels of stigma, less access to treatment, lack of mental health literacy and information, bias and discrimination in treatment setting, and more.

There has been a significant amount of research conducted by the American Psychological Association that helps demonstrate the lower quality mental health services that minorities experience compared to whites. In addition to struggling with a mental illness, minorities are almost guaranteed to face extremely poor quality treatments when they seek help.

An open platform must be established where people can talk about their issues, and we need to ensure equal quality treatments for everyone.

What do you think about mental illness? Do you think it is something that should be discussed?


Connection in #BlackLivesMatter: Is it an Overreaction?

Social Justice

Although my blog is about social justice, you can tell by all of my posts that I have been focusing more on the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s not because I feel like it’s more important but I feel like I can connect with a larger group of people about it.

Black Lives Matter became a huge hot topic this past year and when it did I connected to it because for one I come from a very diverse city where my high school was filled with only colored people and caucausians were the minority. For second, race issues have always been present with day to day activities but once Black Lives Matter came about I feel like it woke us all up.

The Black Lives Matter movement has definitely created a merge between all people from different races. It has shaken the country to be honest. With this movement a lot of things have been changed.

This movement has let us ALL not how hard it is for colored people in general to create  a successful and manageable life for themselves without facing stereotypes and that’s why so far my focus on this blog has been the Black Lives Matter movement. I will be focusing on more social justice topics throughout my journey with this blog.

How do you feel about this movement?

A Day in the Life…

Social Justice

I actually want to share two articles that I feel fit perfectly with what my blog stands for, I found these articles at a site that I visit almost daily called New Pittsburgh Courier Online. These two articles are recent and show you an example of what Black people are currently going through in today’s society which is why I decided to title this post ‘A Day in the Life..’

 In Cincinnati, Charles Harrell, 29, was followed and arrested by a white male police officer for supposedly “jaywalking.” Harrell actually recorded the whole thing and told the officer that he was scared because he was following him. The video has gone viral and it has brought up more questions and concerns about Black people and people of color in general being stopped, harassed, and arrest by police officers.

Down in Greensboro, Georgia at Greene County High School,  a black student, Shaniaya Hunter, was called “the dumbest girl I have ever met” by her own male teacher after Shaniaya missed school for a couple days due to a health issue and asked the teacher for help to catch her up with schoolwork. Shaniaya was able to record this conversation on her iPad.

The reason why I felt the need of sharing these articles is to show how powerful the internet is. Both incidents were recorded and shared online. There are also common themes with both accidents. They both involve black people and white men. And on top of that these civilians are being arrested and verbally abused for what good reason? For being black? Is this okay? It’s clearly not but this isn’t the first time any issue like this has come up… but nothing is changing.

And this ladies and gents is a day in the life… What if this was you?

Re: Trump’s America

Social Justice

Donald Trump has been the face of racism throughout his presidential run. He has spoken negatively about racism, especially immigrants and this has caused people of color to speak up and defend themselves while others still stand with him and support his campaign, many people didn’t take his presidential run seriously at first but in the end this is Trump’s America. His campaign is basically built around controversy.

Trump held a rally at Valdosta State University and only the Black students that were there were asked to leave because they were accused of protesting. This definitely shows that Trump is doing nothing but exposing racism and making it seem like it’s okay and acceptable.

We all know racism didn’t happen overnight but the things Trump has been doing are adding more fuel to the fire that has been burning for years. And this is a great example of how danger he can put in people’s lives by instilling fears on others and making it seem as if the Black students attended the rally only to protest instead of just going to hear him speak.

In the video below you’ll be able to hear some of the students that were kicked out explain what happened and why they wanted to attend the rally.

How do you feel about this? Still agree with Trump running for president?

Does #OscarsSoWhite Change Anything?

Black Cool

At the 88th Academy Awards (aka “the Oscars”) on Sunday night, Chris Rock after being so quiet about the #OscarsSoWhite issue, spoke about race head-on with no remorse or care at those he made feel uncomfortable. Many people at home, including myself, applaud him for finally doing something we’ve been waiting  for. He addressed the #OscarsSoWhite issues and made it clear to the whole room that Hollywood is racist but that things are changing. He also explained why this suddenly became an issue, “We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer,” he said. “When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

It all began when Jada Pinkett-Smith uploaded a video on her Facebook which started the boycott movement. With the caption of the video being, “We must stand in our power,” Jada Pinkett-Smith explains that she will not be watching (or attending) the Academy Awards because of the lack of acknowledgement for black people.  “Invoking the Rev. Martin Luther King’s legacy on his birthday, two prominent African-Americans announced Monday that they will boycott this year’s Academy Awards over a lack of diversity among nominees,” wrote Brandon Griggs while he went into further details explaining why the boycott was happening. You can watch Jada Pinkett-Smith’s video below:

Yes, this was honestly a huge moment on TV for us colored folks not only because a black man addressed race issues in front of an almost all white audience but also because this is the first time something like this has happened. Yesha Callahan explained it all in one sentence when she wrote, “The comedian came, he saw the sea of white faces in the audience and he conquered.” In her article she also explained the hits and misses of this years Oscars involving Chris Rock.

There were many different sketches throughout the ceremony but the one that took everyone by storm was when Stacey Dash came onto the stage and congratulated everyone by saying, “Happy Black History Month,” when a couple months ago Dash stated in a very controversy interview how she thinks we should get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. You can watch the sketch below:

I am glad that issues involving race are being more actively addressed by stars who have bigger platforms and can actually help the black lives matter movement, even stars like Angela Bassett said in a Breakfast Club interview, “When I see more inclusion [in the Academy Awards], that’s when I can get more excited, when I see the work of what life looks like.”

But even if things do change and even if diversity is included more, race is still going to be a visible issue. Recently there was a  problem involving Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he had to write an internal memo to his employees in which he spoke about people in his staff crossing out “black lives matter” and replacing it with “all lives matter.”

This was written on the company’s “free expression” wall. “We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls,” said Zuckerberg in the post. “We expect everybody to treat each other with respect.” Here is his full post:

Ultimately, will things ever change?